A Prayer for Those Messy Moments You Want to Take Back

It happened so quickly. The words flew out of my mouth before I could lasso them back. And there was no putting the messy toothpaste verbal spew back into the tube it came from (my mouth.)

I was tired. I didn’t mean to say those words! The minute I heard myself say it I thought, “Oh no! I’m becoming one of those gripey old women!”

And then I began to rethink all those sitcoms where the mother-in-law lashes out hurtful words. Ugh.

Thankfully, this time the recipient didn’t seem to catch my snarkiness. (Swew.) But there have been plenty other times when my words have hurt someone I loved.

We are so human aren’t we?

We just have those moments when we don’t handle situations well. Some big. Some small.

Sometimes we are the offender, but sometimes we’re the one who is offended, hurt by another human who has “not so good” moments too. Even if the pain was intentional, the old saying is so true, “Hurting people, hurt people.”

We’re a mess! (Some of us a hot mess.)

But there is hope. His name is Jesus. And He came to redeem our messy self. 

Read David’s words in Psalm 103.


Psalm 103


Did you read verse 4? It promises that Jesus redeems our life from the pit. 

I’ve been in some pits before. How about you?

According to Webster, redeem has many meanings. Here are a few:  to repurchase, to win or get back, to free from what distresses or harms, to free from captivity or pay ransom, clear a blame or debt, or to help overcome something detrimental, to make good, to offset the bad effect, to make worthwhile. 

I really love this word. It’s been employed in many prayers I’ve prayed when I couldn’t take back less than good words or action or decisions. Especially when my kids were small. I prayed it a lot then!

I wrote about it in my Ruth Bible study, which is all about redemption. Here’s an excerpt:

A few years back I was stuck on the word redeem. I don’t know why. I don’t remember if I participated in a Bible study about redemption or a song on the radio brought this concept to the forefront of my brain. Maybe it was a sermon. I can’t recall. But I do know that somewhere, somehow, I began to pray for God to redeem my daily mistakes—big and small.

I began to live with the peace and assurance that Jesus could and would redeem the painful words I lashed out to my kids on bad mommy days. I simply prayed with a very repentant, grieving heart, “God, please redeem it.”

That prayer has never ceased from my lips. I’ve needed it some days more than others. I think I’ll have to keep praying it as long as I’m human, covered in skin, in need of oxygen. Though I hope in time my spirit becomes less me and more like Jesus.

Every mistake, silly to serious, such as misspelling a literary agent’s name or adopting a puppy even with the likelihood my son’s allergies would flare up (which they did) or the huge blunder of hurting a friend’s heart—I’ve watched God redeem.

He takes those bad mistakes and uses them for something good, better, healthier. He’s not only redeemed me every day for eternity… He redeems my everyday. (Excerpt from The Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study: A 31-day Journey to Hope and Promise). 

What about you? have you messed up lately? You’re not alone. But we have a Redeemer. Let’s give our failures to Him. He can take what’s bad and make something good of it. I’ve seen it! I promise.

All we have to do is pray this simple prayer, “Redeem it, Lord! Please!”

Sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Well, that my friends is called grace. We don’t earn His redemption. We simply pray for it–for those messy moments we want to take back. Jesus can do something better. He can use them for good.




Digging Deep,



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11 thoughts on “A Prayer for Those Messy Moments You Want to Take Back

  1. This was a wonderful word for today – a day when I feel like everything I’ve said and done over the past week has offended (unintentionally, mostly) those around me that I love and others in ministry with me. When I feel like I’ve let other people down by my choices, even though they are appropriate for me and my circumstances, but others don’t feel the same way, this is a good prayer for restoration of the relationships. Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. Even though this passage doesn’t use the word “redeem” I can hear the echo of it throughout the inlaid promise.

    “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.
    Joel 2:25-27 NKJV

    1. Thank you, Victor! It is comforting. The prayer for God to redeem my mistakes brings me peace. I can’t, but He can. Hallelujah! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your faith. It’s so encouraging.

  3. I love redemption, too. He does make all things new when we ask (and sometimes even when we don’t). Thanks for this great reminder.

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